Tuesday, March 13, 2007

The Witch Hazels are Here! The Witch Hazels are Here!

By the After 4 Gang

Today we visted the garden. It was sunny and warm and lots of plants are getting old and some are alive. We saw some witch hazel. Witch hazel is a tree. There are two witch hazel trees in our garden. They are blooming. The blooms are yellow and orange and they look like octopuses.

We also found some plants that tasted like grapes. Baba Ed said they are called sorrel and should taste like lemon.

Then we smelled some thyme plants. They smell like peppermint. Mama Jenny told us that thyme will make you have good dreams. You just smell it. Even if you smell it in the daytime you'll still have good dreams at night.

Note: Witch hazel is a native American tree. Native Americans used the oil from its seeds to treat cuts and abrasions. Witch hazel is traditionally sold in bottles as an after-shave lotion or treatment for skin irritation. Early colonists used the forked branches of the witch hazel for dowsing, or locating underground sources of water.

With hazel is neither a witch, nor a true hazel. The name comes from old English, in which a word for pliable branches was "wych."

Certain varieties of witch hazel bloom in very late winter, or very early spring. They broadcast their seed with a popping explosion that spreads the seeds far and wide.

--Ed Bruske

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